Index
 

Qualifications - Officers - Circa Mid 1840s

Lieutenants
To qualify an Officer to receive a Lieutenant's Commission, [circa 1846] he must have been borne on the books of, and have actually served in, one or more of Her Majesty's Ships six complete years excepting in the case of Masters, two of which as Midshipman; and shall have passed such Examinations as the Admiralty may from time to time direct, after he shall have attained the full age of 19 years. He shall be required to produce, at such Examinations, proof of his age, and certificates of the above-mentioned period of service, and of the regularity of his conduct; and if any candidate shall knowingly produce false certificates, be shall thereby be rendered incapable of ever receiving any Commission in Her Majesty's Navy; and if the falsehood of such Certificates shall not be discovered until after he has obtained promotion, be shall, whenever it may be discovered, be dismissed from the Navy, whatever rank he may at the time have attained.


Masters
To qualify an Officer to receive a Commission as Master, he must have been at Sea at least seven years, two of which in Her Majesty's Navy, in the quality of Acting Master or Second Master ; or, having served seven years at Sea, shall have actually been one year or more Chief Mate, and two years Master, or two years Chief Mate, and one year Master of a Merchant Vessel. He shall produce Certificates of diligence, sobriety, and good conduct from his Captains, also from the Owners, for the time he served as Master, and from the Owners and Master for the time he served as Mate; and shall pass such Examination as the Admiralty may from time to time direct; but no Candidate shall be examined before he shall have attained the Age of twenty-one years, nor after the age of forty.

Time served as Master, shall, in future, be considered as time served as Lieutenant, to qualify an Officer to receive a Commission as Commander, under Her Majesty's Regulations, Art. 2, Sec. 4, Chap. 3, in the event of any particularly distinguished conduct which in the opinion of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty it may be proper to reward by such advancement.

A Master's Assistant (when such rating shall be allowed by the Admiralty) may be so rated, on receiving the sanction of the Admiralty, and on passing such Examination as the Admiralty may direct.

He shall have been at sea either in Her Majesty's Navy three complete years, or in the Merchant Service four years (one of which as Mate or Inferior Mate) ; or for combined periods of two years is the Royal Navy, and two in the Merchant Service; or one year n the Royal Navy, and three in the Merchant Service, and shall be full 16 years of age.

He will be required to have a thorough knowledge of Practical Observations of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, for ascertaining the Latitude; to work double Altitudes; the Longitude by Chronometer; and to keep a Ship's reckoning by the common Rules, usually denominated a day's work. He will also be required to produce Certificates of Servitude and Regularity of Conduct.

Candidates for the appointment of Acting Master's Assistant are to be strictly and carefully examined in the presence of the Captain, or Commander, by a Master and Naval Instructor, and, when there shall not be an Officer of the latter Class, by two Masters, touching their abilities in Seamanship, Navigation, &c. The Certificates of Qualifications are to be signed by the Captain, or Commander, as well as by the examining Officers ; and all Candidates who shall be found qualified, agreeably to the before-mentioned provisions, will be considered eligible to be appointed by their Lordships as Acting Mastersí Assistants in Her Majesty's Navy accordingly.

Such Masters as shall not have served afloat as Masters in the Royal Navy six complete years, and are not already in the receipt of higher half pay, shall not be entitled to any increase of pay beyond five shillings a day, except in cases where it shall appear to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that inability to serve the prescribed term of six years shall have been caused by wounds or ill health, arising from the service.


Mates.
To qualify an officer to become a Mate, he must have served the time and passed the Examination required to qualify him for a Lieutenancy ; but whatever rank beyond that of Midshipman he may obtain abroad, previous to passing such Examination at the Naval College as may from time to time be required, will depend for confirmation on his passing the said Examination within such period after his return to England as shall be directed from time to time by the Admiralty. Admiralty, 12th August, 1844.

All Midshipmen who shall have passed such Examination respecting their Qualifications for the appointment of Lieutenant as the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty may from time to time direct, (if abroad, for Seamanship and Navigation, and if at home also at the Royal Naval College), shall be considered eligible to have Warrants or Commissions as Mates in whatever Ship they may be serving; such Warrant or Commission will be given by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, upon the recommendation of the Commanding Officer of the Ship in which the person may be serving, transmitted by the Commander-in-Chief or Senior Officer on the Station.

During their first three years of actual service as Mates in the Royal Navy they will take Rank with Ensigns in the Army, and after three years' service with Lieutenants in the Army, according to their seniority as Mates, to be computed from the dates of their original Warrants from their respective Captains, under the former regulations in respect to Mates.

Commanders-in-Chief on Foreign Stations may give Acting Warrants as Mates to such Midshipmen as may pass abroad for Seamanship and Navigation, which Warrants will be confirmed from their original dates if approved by their Lordships, provided they pass their examination at the Royal Naval College in two months after their arrival in England; but no person appointed to act as Mate or as Lieutenant is to be sent home from a Foreign Station for the purpose of passing such examination.

To qualify a gentleman for an appointment as Midshipman, he must have served in Her Majesty's Navy two complete years as a Cadet, or three complete years in any other capacity ; and shall pass such Examination as may from time to time be ordered by the Admiralty, and shall be full fourteen years of age.

A Naval Cadet, before his admission into the Navy, shall undergo such Examination as the Admiralty may from time to time direct.

Naval Cadets must not be under twelve years. They must be in good health, fit for Service, and able to write English from dictation, and must be acquainted with the four first Rules of Arithmetic, Reduction, and the Rule of Three.


Medical Officers.
To be eligible for a Commission a Medical or Deputy Inspector of Hospitals and Fleets, a Surgeon most hare served four years in Her Majesty's Navy as Surgeon on board a Commissioned Ship. Admiralty, 7th May, 1830.

Notice is hereby given to the Medical Officers of the Royal Navy, that Sir Gilbert Blane, Bart., First Physician to his Majesty, and formerly Member of the Board for Sick and Wounded Seamen, with to concurrence and approbation of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, has, for the encouragement of Naval Medical Science, and the excitement of an emulation that may conduce to the interests of an important branch of the public service, established a Fund in perpetuity, for the purpose of providing the means of conferring a gold medal, once in every two years, on such two Medical Officers, whether Surgeons, or Assistant-Surgeons or acting as Surgeons, as shall produce the most approved journals of their of their practice, whilst actually serving in King's Ships.

The selection of the journals will, in the first instance. be made by the Medical Commissioners of the Victualling Board, on the 12th of August, 1831, and will consist of not more than ten, nor less than five of those journals delivered into office between the 12th of July, 1827, and the 12th of July, 1831 ; as the subsequent selections will be made from those delivered within the period of every two succeeding years and the adjudication of the medals will. during the life of Sir Gilbert Blane, be made him, and will subsequently be vested in the Senior Medical Commissioner, the President of the College of Physicians, and the President of the College of Surgeons, London.


Surgeons
To qualify an Officer to receive a Commission as Surgeon, he must have been three years employed as an Assistant Surgeon, one year of which, at least, must be on board a Commissioned Ship, and the other two maybe served in one of Her Majesty's Naval Hospitals; and he shall pass such Examination as the Admiralty may from time to time direct; but no Surgeon or Assistant Surgeon., who shall retire from his employment without the sanction of the Admiralty, or who shall refuse or avoid service, if found capable of serving , shall be allowed to receive half-pay ; and his name in such case will be removed from the list of Officers of the Royal Navy.


Paymasters and Pursers, and Clerks
A Candidate for a Commission of Paymaster and Purser shall have served three complete years as Secretary to a Flag Officer, or Commodore of the First Class ; or, having actually served for this period in her Majesty's Navy, shall have been three years Captain's Clerk, or two years Captainís Clerk, and one year Clerk to the Secretary of a Flag Officer, or Commodore of the First Class ; one year Captain's Clerk, and two years Clerk to the Secretary to a Flag Officer, or Commodore the First Class ; and shall produce Certificates of his good conduct, and of his having discharged the duty of his situation; and shall pass such Examination as the Admiralty may from time to time direct.

A Clerk, to be admitted into the Service, must be able to write a good and clear hand, and must be more than 17, and less than 35 years of age.


Chaplains,
No person shall be appointed a Chaplain in the Royal Navy who shall not have been regularly ordained Deacon and Priest of the United Church of England and Ireland, or who shall not have been graduated at the University of Oxford, Cambridge, or Trinity College, Dublin, or whose age shall exceed thirty-five years, or who shall hold any benefice with care of souls, or who shall not produce testimonials from two beneficed clergymen of his good moral and religious conduct, or who shall not have been examined by some competent person to be appointed for that purpose by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty and be reported by him to be in every respect a fit and proper person to fill with respectability and advantage to His Majesty's service the situation of Chaplain.- Order in Council, 31st July, 1835.


Naval Instructors.
A Naval Instructor shall produce a Certificate of his age, and Testimonials of good character, and shall pass such Examination as the Admiralty may from time to time direct; but no person will be considered eligible for the situation who is under 20 or more than 35 years of age. He will be allowed, in addition to his pay, £5 a-year to be charged on the ship's books against, and to be deducted from the pay of every young gentleman who shall have received instruction from him ; but no Naval Instructor who shall retire from his employment without the sanction of the Admiralty. or who shall refuse or avoid service, if found capable of serving, shall be allowed to receive Half Pay ; and his name in such case will be removed from the list of Naval Instructors.

Chaplains appointed to act as Naval Instructors are to be designated "Chaplains and Naval instructors," and will be allowed £5 a year to be deducted from the pay of every young gentleman instructed by them, in addition to their pay as Chaplains and to three-fourths of the amount of the Rate of Pay of Naval Instructors, according to the length of their service as such, but the Bounty of £30 a year is to be discontinued.


Regulations for the Qualification, and Half-pay of Naval Instructors and Schoolmasters, established by Order in Council of the 22 Dec 1836, 10 Aug 1840, and 11 Mar 1842.

Naval Instructors and Schoolmasters are hereafter to be designated "Naval Instructors," and Chaplains on being appointed to act as Naval Instructors are to be designated "Chaplains and Naval Instructors." No person will be considered eligible for a Warrant as Naval Instructor who is under 20 years age or more than 35. Before any person can hereafter be received on board Her Majesty's ship "Excellent," as a candidate for an appointment as Naval Instructor, he will be required to produce a certificate of his age, and testimonials of good character ; and both laymen and clergymen when appointed too as Naval Instructors must pass an examination as to their qualifications to instruct the young Officers in the following branches:-

  • 1st. Common Arithmetic, including Vulgar and Decimal Fractions.

  • 2d. the first six, and the eleventh books of Euclid.
  • 3rd. Algebra, progressing to the highest order of Equations and its application to the solution of Geometrical Problems.
  • 4th. Plane and Spherical Trigonometry, theoretical and practical.
  • 5th. Nautical Astronomy; particularly the principles on which the various rules for finding the latitude and longitude are founded.
  • 6th. Mechanics.
  • 7th. Hydrostatics.
  • 8th. A competent knowledge of the Classics.

The final examination of Candidates for Naval Instructorships will comprise :-

  • 1st. The usual College passing examination in Navigation.
  • 2nd. The application of the theory of Projectiles to Gunnery.
  • 3d. Observations with the Sextant, &c. The use of the Azimuth Compass and Chronometer. Perfect proficiency will be expected in observing : 250 numbers will be required to pass a Candidate in the College paper, and 55 is to be the minimum number for observations.

Although the knowledge of French, as well as of other modern languages, and of the principles of drawing, is not considered as indispensable, it is very desirable that Naval Instructors should be able to give instruction in these branches of education ; and preference will always be given to such as possess these attainments.

The Naval Instructor is to he considered in all respects a Ward Room Warrant Officer. Unless he be in Holy Orders, they an to wear the same uniform as Masters, but without epaulettes or gold lace on the trowsers.

The Full Pay of Naval Instructors is to be :-

  • Upon their first entry into the service : 7s. per diem.

  • After 3 years service on Full Pay : 7s. 6d. ditto.
  • After 7 years : 8s. 6d. ditto.
  • After 10 years : 10s. ditto.

The Half Pay of Naval Instructors is to be :-

  • Upon their first entry into the service : 2s. per diem.
  • After 3 years service on Full Pay : 3s. ditto.
  • After 10 years : 4s. 6d. ditto.
  • After 20 years : 5s. ditto.

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